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Due to Drug War, Help Needed On U.S. Border!

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Via(Washington Times)

Homeland security: Help needed on U.S. border

The drug war is on.

On the same day that the secretary of homeland security told Congress that drug-related violence along the Mexican border had grown beyond the ability of the department to handle, the DEA announced an operation against a major Mexican drug cartel that netted more than 750 suspects – almost all of them in the U.S.

“I believe this is going to require more than the Department of Homeland Security,” Janet Napolitano said Wednesday during her first Capitol Hill appearance since her confirmation last month as homeland security secretary.

“So we are reaching out to the national security adviser, to the attorney general and others about how we within the United States make sure we are doing all we can in a coordinated way to support the president of Mexico,” said Ms. Napolitano, explaining that containing border-related drug violence will require more than the 22 agencies and 200,000 employees in her department.

TWT RELATED STORY: 755 arrested in drug cartel operation

Border violence, which claimed more than 1,000 lives in January and about 6,000 in 2008, is already on the radar of Pentagon and CIA officials, who have told The Washington Times of their involvement in the current crisis in Mexico and say they are watching developments closely.

U.S. intelligence officials told The Times that the effects of the global economic crisis on Mexico have helped narcotics traffickers recruit more people and corrupt more Mexican officials.

At his first meeting with reporters Wednesday, new CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said that Mexico was a “priority” for the agency.

“Mexico is an area of concern because of the drug wars going on there,” Mr. Panetta said. “The president [of Mexico] has courageously taken on that issue, but nevertheless, it’s an area that we are paying attention to, a lot of attention to.”

Meanwhile Wednesday, Justice Department officials announced the arrest of 755 people associated with Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel as part of a two-year probe dubbed “Operation Xcellerator.” The operation also netted $59 million, 12,000 kilograms of cocaine, 16,000 pounds of marijuana and about 1.3 million Ecstasy pills.

But as a measure of how thoroughly Mexico’s deadly drug gangs have entrenched themselves in the U.S., Justice Department officials said only 20 of the arrests took place in Mexico, with the rest taking place north of the border.

And in a specific example of the spread of Mexican drug-gang violence across the U.S., a confidential Department of Homeland Security advisory said an assassination attempt on a South Carolina deputy sheriff was the work of three illegal immigrants as part of a Mexican-American gang with ties to the drug trade.

Lexington County, S.C., Deputy Sheriff Ted Xanthakis and his K-9, Arcos, both survived the ambush by three men armed with a 12-gauge shotgun during a Feb. 8 incident in West Columbia, S.C.

Two of the men were identified in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report as members of the Surenos gang, or SUR-13, a collection of hundreds of Mexican-American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California and which federal law enforcement agencies accuse of involvement in smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants.

Violence on the Mexican border and its reverberations throughout the U.S. are emerging as one of the gravest and least expected problems confronting the Obama administration, a point that was made by President George W. Bush in a late December interview with The Washington Times.

Mr. Obama will need to deal “with these drug cartels in our own neighborhood,” Mr. Bush said. “And the front line of the fight will be Mexico. The drug lords will continue to search for a soft underbelly. And one of the things that future presidents are going to have to make sure of is that they don’t find a safe haven in parts of Central America.”

In her testimony Wednesday, Ms. Napolitano sounded a similar note, saying: “I’ve actually found the situation in Mexico one of the top priority items on my desk. It was on my desk when I was governor of Arizona, but as the secretary of homeland security, I see it in a much broader way.”

Thousands of Mexican troops have been sent to the border by President Felipe Calderon to patrol drug routes and bust drug runners.

But the drug cartels have retaliated at levels of violence never before seen, and Ms. Napolitano warned that failure could turn Mexico’s border areas into a war zone that the central government cannot effectively control, as happened in Colombia.

“They’ve been targeting in some of those homicides public officials [and] law enforcement officers as a process of intimidation,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The homeland security chief has already met with Mexico’s attorney general and the U.S. ambassador there, and said the U.S. is “working to support President Calderon in his efforts.”

“That is primarily the product of the president of Mexico and his government going after these large drug cartels, so that we never run the risk, never run the risk of Mexico descending into, say, where Colombia was 15 years ago,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The cocaine trade turned Colombia into a battle zone, with the Medellin and Cali cartels able to attack the highest levels of Colombian politics with kidnappings and assassinations.

The U.S. has spent billions of dollars on anti-drug efforts, and teamed up with the Colombian government to knock down cocaine production, but to this day the national government in Bogota does not effectively control large parts of the country, where the drug-linked Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is the de facto government.

U.S. officials will focus in particular on the traffic of guns and cash from the U.S. to Mexico to support “these very, very violent cartels,” Ms. Napolitano said.

“I believe our country has a vital relationship with Mexico, and I believe that Mexico right now has issues of violence that are of a different degree and level than we’ve ever seen before,” she said.

“But in my view, from a homeland security standpoint, this is going to be an issue, working with Mexico, that is going to be of real priority interest over these coming months,” Ms. Napolitano said.

The Obama administration says that the drug-gang violence on the U.S. side of the border does not match what is going on in Mexico’s border states, but says there is a contingency plan in place that will not include militarizing the U.S. side of the boundary.

• Sara A. Carter, Ben Conery and Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R Bootie

Jury Awards Illegal Aliens Money!

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Jury: Rancher didn’t violate illegal immigrants’ rights

TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn’t violate the civil rights of a group of illegal immigrants who said he detained them at gunpoint in 2004.

The eight-member civil jury also found Roger Barnett wasn’t liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.

But the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages — $60,000 of which were punitive.

Barnett declined to comment afterward, but one of his attorneys, David Hardy, said the plaintiffs lost on the bulk of their claims and that Barnett has a good basis for appeal on the two counts on which he lost.

“They won a fraction of the damages they were seeking,” Hardy said.

All six plaintiffs are citizens of Mexico, five of whom are living in the United States with visa applications pending, and the sixth resides in Mexico but was allowed into the U.S. for the trial, said Nina Perales, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She declined to say where in the U.S. they’re residing.

Perales called the outcome “a resounding victory that sends a message that vigilante violence against immigrants will not be tolerated.”

David Urias, attorney for the plaintiffs, said, “Obviously we are disappointed with some aspects of the verdict. But I think that overall this was a victory for the plaintiffs.”

For years, Arizona has been the busiest point along the Mexican border for illegal immigrants entering the United States.

For more than a decade, Barnett has been a controversial figure in southern Arizona. He’s known for aggressively patrolling his ranch property and along highways and roads in the area, often with his wife and brothers, on the lookout for illegal immigrants.

The plaintiffs alleged that Barnett threatened them with his dog and told them he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

Barnett’s lawyers argued that his land was inundated with illegal immigrants who left trash on his property, damaged his water supply and harmed his cattle.

Barnett’s wife and a brother were dismissed as defendants; in addition, 10 more people initially named as plaintiffs were dropped from the proceedings.

Barnett has been known to wear a holstered 9-mm pistol on his hip and upon coming across groups of migrants, to flash a blue and gold badge resembling that of the highway patrol, with the wording “Barnett Ranch Patrol. Cochise County. State of Arizona.”

The Barnetts detain and turn over those whom they encounter to the U.S. Border Patrol. In 2006, Barnett estimated that he had detained more than 10,000 illegal immigrants in 10 years.

His actions have resulted in formal complaints from the Mexican government against what it considers vigilante actions, and in several other lawsuits, including one stemming from an October 2004 incident.

In that case, a jury awarded a family of Mexican-Americans on a hunting trip $100,000 in damages, later upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Barnett’s 22,000-acre ranch, about five miles north of the Mexican border, includes private and federal lease holdings in addition to nearly 14,000 acres of state-leased land.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Commuted Sentences are Not Good Enough!

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The Commuted Sentences of U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, are great news for their families, and is great in getting them out of prison where they don’t belong, but they should have been Pardoned.

These men were doing the job they were trained to do, and should never have been convicted.  But since President Bush showed his Liberal side, (as he has done so many other times) these two men are still considered convicted felons and so will have all the restrictions that apply to felons, and no matter what anyone says they will be treated as such, and that is just not right.

Bush Cuts Sentences of Ramos, and Compean

Agents convicted of shooting smuggler will be released from prison March 20

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

President Bush commuted the prison sentences of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean today.

The announcement came on the last full day of Bush’s presidency. The sentences for Ramos and Compean are scheduled to expire March 20 but there was no immediate explanation for the time period between today’s announcement and that date.

Two years ago, Ramos and Compean began serving sentences of 11- and 12- years respectively for a 2005 incident in which they fired on a drug smuggler as he fled back into Mexico after bringing 750 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. near Fabens, Texas.

“Thank God for this commutation,” said Joseph Farah, editor of WND, who launched a petition and letter-writing campaign that re-energized the Ramos-Compean issue in the last 30 days of Bush’s term. “This will end the sleepless nights for their wives and children. This is the first step toward making these families whole, again.”

His petition collected more than 40,000 signatures by the time today’s announcement was made, and the letter campaign produced more than 3,000 FedEx letters to the White House.

“We can only thank Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi and the staff at WorldNetDaily because from the beginning you have been with us and you never gave up on the case,” Joe Loya, Ramos’ father-in-law, said today. “Your reporting had a lot to do with the decision today by President Bush to commute the sentences.”

The petition had described how the agents “are now serving outrageously long prison terms for shooting and wounding, in the line of duty, a fleeing illegal alien drug smuggler trying to bring almost 800 pounds of marijuana into the U.S.”

The smuggler was granted immunity for his illegal activities in return for testifying against the agents. After the trial, it was revealed the smuggler participated in another drug run into the U.S. while he held immunity.

The law under which the agents were ordered to serve minimum 10-year sentences for using a firearm in the commission of a crime never had been applied to law enforcement officers.

Continue the rest of the Article here:

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Possible Justice for Ramos and Compean!

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Ramos, Compean Commutation under Review by U.S. Pardon Attorney

Ramos US Border Agent

Ramos US Border Agent

It is about time and they better get their justice and be Pardoned.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Written by truthtracker

November 20, 2008 at 1:40 AM